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Candidate “picks” future, avoids settling

Oklahoman Modified: June 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm •  Published: June 23, 2012

Meet Todd!

Todd has served in technician roles for the majority of his career. Serving in the military for two years, he progressed to working in the private sector for an equipment repair company; after two years, he joined his current employer for eight-plus years. In his current role, Todd rebuilt engines, gained experience working in diverse areas of the organization—field service, dyno room, and engine rebuild department—and had also been selected to provide on-the-job training for new and existing employees.

What did Todd need from me?

Todd wanted to be promoted. He felt he had gained the team leadership and training experience needed to qualify him for “the next level” and wanted his résumé to show that. Not having a tremendous amount of experience writing a résumé, and feeling fairly uncertain when it came to self-promoting, Todd’s existing résumé served as a lackluster representation of his experience.

Why wasn’t Todd’s résumé generating calls?

Todd had a very old-fashioned résumé, akin to many that I see on a daily basis, void of sophistication when it came to content, formatting, and placement of information. Todd’s résumé opened with an Objective Statement which wasted the most important real estate on the résumé and told prospective employers nothing about how he was uniquely qualified for his roles of choice.

Next, Todd presented a Capabilities section which was a short, six-bullet list of training and soft skills. Nothing in this list would not be expected of a technician in his field; therefore, it did not differentiate his skills nor did it further position him for the promotion he sought.

Next, appeared an Education section with degree and non-degree granting institutions presented, in addition to his high school diploma. In all, this section encompassed a solid one-third of page one of Todd’s résumé, yet possessed not one differentiating or key qualifying factor.

Lastly, and close to the end of page one of Todd’s résumé, he presented his work history. In each of three sections, Todd listed his employers, years of experience, and three to five bullet points of no more than seven words each. Sum total, Todd presented 12 years of professional history in 53 words!

The key to success…

Todd needed a résumé to not only validate that he was a qualified technician, but to also prove that he possessed the key experience and characteristics of a supervisor, trainer, or project manager. By talking with Todd, I was able to have him elaborate on his experience, narrate some of the reasons he felt qualified for “the next level” in his career, and provide mission-critical content to give his résumé the value it needed to position him for a promotion.

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